University of Georgia junior defensive specialist Brynn Chandler (12) cheers after winning a point during their match against University of Missouri at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia, on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. The Lady Bulldogs lost to the Tigers in four sets. (Photo/Caroline Barnes)

The Georgia volleyball team beat Alabama in three sets in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs earned their 20th win to finish out the regular season. 

The first set started off close with Alabama holding the lead from the beginning. The Bulldogs eventually tied the score 19-19. Then, they began to come back. 

Georgia ended up keeping its momentum and won the set 25-21 against the Crimson Tide. 

Within this set, Rachel Ritchie and Kacie Evans both earned six kills, while Kianna Young earned five kills. 

“Our attacking picked up, we were making a lot of hitting errors and our blocking got better as the match went on,” head coach Tom Black said. “I think the score came and went with the efficiency of our hitters.

Georgia started off with a strong lead in the second set where Kendall Glover earned the first ace of the match. Alabama quickly called a timeout after the ace with the score at 14-7. 

Alabama earned a 7-1 run but was unable to stop the Bulldogs, who eventually won the set 25-17.

Georgia started the third and final set in the lead, but the set quickly became more competitive.

Alabama had the lead at 24-23 until Sage Naves and Kayla Rivera both earned back-to-back kills that landed Georgia at set point. 

After having ten tied scores and four lead changes, Evans earned the winning kill for the Bulldogs. Georgia was able to finish out the set at 26-24 and win the match. 

“I thought the ladies were tough tonight,” Black said. “We let a couple leads slip. It’s always tough to play on the road, and we knew what was at stake, but we showed some real toughness. Our serving and defense was pretty solid throughout the match.”

Evans led in kills for the night, earning a total of 19. Ritchie followed behind with a total of 16 kills.

Within the three sets, Glover earned 24 digs while Meghan Donovan had 49 assists.

Georgia is now waiting for the NCAA Selection Show Sunday at 8:30 p.m. to see its standing in the 2019 NCAA tournament. 

“We’re excited,” Black said. “I think we’ve got a great shot. It’s obviously a huge step for our program, and I’m really proud of the team.”

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